Blackboard Learn Ultra: Overview & Features

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Blackboard Ultra Navigation Coming Soon Summer 2021. Layout showing current courses, sidebar list says activity stream, calendar, organizations, messages, grades, tools, sign out

Overview

  • This summer Fordham IT upgraded the look and feel of the University’s learning management system (LMS), migrating from Blackboard Learn Classic to Blackboard Ultra.  
  • When you use Blackboard, you will notice a more modern interface with an improved look, navigation, and more mobile-friendly design.  
  • Courses themselves within Blackboard will NOT change automatically and will remain on “original course view” for the time being. 

FAQs about Blackboard Ultra

What is Blackboard Ultra?

  • Blackboard Ultra is the latest iteration of the Blackboard’s learning management system (LMS).  Ultra offers a modern, mobile-first design, designed to adapt to many devices, whether computer, tablet, or smartphone.  

What Will Be Different?

Ultra Base Navigation

Blackboard has reconceptualized their approach to navigating through their system. Now, instead of the traditional Blackboard homepage that you have to cycle back to in order to get to a different part of Blackboard, going through tabs and modules, everything can simply be found on this new left hand navigation menu.  

This approach should be familiar for anyone who’s used the Blackboard mobile app.

New Navigation Menu Menu Item Descriptions
  • Institution Page:  Contains help information and resources from Fordham IT, Fordham University Libraries, and more.
  • Profile:  Allows you to manage your Blackboard persona  and modify your notification settings.
  • Activity Stream:  See what’s new and coming up across all your courses and organizations.
  • Courses:  Quickly navigate your courses using search, filter, and favorites.
  • Organizations:  Quickly navigate your organizations using search, filter, and favorites.
  • Calendar:  View all due dates and events in your courses and organizations.
  • Messages:  Stay connected by viewing and sending messages to/from all your courses in one place.
  • Grades
    • For instructors:  See what needs to be graded across all your courses, and start grading with just one click. 
    • For students:  Check your grades for all your courses with just one click.
  • Tools:  Access the tools that exist outside of your courses.

The Activity Stream 

When users first enter Blackboard they will find the Activity Stream.  This will contain the latest activity in courses.  For example, students will be able to see the latest announcements, deadlines, etc., while faculty will see the various submissions and missed deadlines, etc. Also, for convenience, the activity will directly link to the course items in questions.  User will also be able to customize the notifications settings of this stream. 


Courses Displayed in a Timeline

Courses are now much easier to find.  Under Courses, you can now immediately see your current courses, while having the ability to easily cycle through looking at your old courses as well as your upcoming courses.  

Better Mobile Experience

Ultra has been improved to display optimally across a number of devices, resizing automatically.  

Profile

Looking Ahead: Your Individual Classes

Courses themselves within Blackboard will NOT change during this update and will remain on “original course view” for the time being.  

Faculty do not have to make any changes at this time. 

External Resources

Questions?

Contact IT Customer Care at (718) 817-3999 or helpit@fordham.edu

Additionally, you can email Faculty Technology Services’ Blackboard team at blackboard@fordham.edu

Last, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns on this process, please feel free to reach out to Alan Cafferkey, Director of Faculty Technology Services, at cafferkey@fordham.edu

Please note: as we get closer to rolling out the new Blackboard base navigation upgrade, Fordham IT will provide updated support resources, including training materials, guides, and best practice recommendations. Additionally, the teams providing support will have a full training on the system, so as to provide faculty the best service possible. 

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